Volume 39 part 2 (August 1994)


IAN PHIMISTER, Lashers and Leviathan: The 1954 Coalminers' Strike in Colonial Zimbabwe
In 1953 Southern Rhodesia's (Zimbabwe's) only coal mine, Wankie Colliery, was taken over by the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa. The colliery's new owners soon discovered that the elimination of "hand lashing" (shovelling of coal) was the key to better productivity and expanded output. Coal cutting machinery was installed wherever possible, but in the colliery's two oldest shafts existing mining methods were too deeply entrenched and consequently too expensive simply to be swept away. Instead Anglo American attempted to reinforce colonial production relations. Supervision underground was tightened up, and the degree of "self-regulation" enjoyed by lashers in determining the amount of work they did was limited. The introduction of a new mine tub designed to increase productivity precipitated strike action in February 1954 by the colliery's entire black labour force.

DANIEL GUTWEIN, Russian "Official Antisemitism" Reconsidered: Socio-Economic Aspects of Tsarist Jewish Policy, 1881-1905
The respective Jewish policies of Tsarist ministers Witte and Plehve are re-examined through the perspective of their opposing socio-economic policies. The two ministers' rivalry over Jewish policy is considered not to be a reflection of "antisemitic" or "pro-Jewish" sympathies, as that would leave major elements of these policies unexplained; rather, analysis shows it to be a means in their struggle to gain supremacy for their own respective policies regarding the nature and pace of Russia's industrialization. The Russian policy-makers perceived the Jews not only as a religious group; they saw them as a non-monolithic economic entity, and differentiated among the various strata of Jewish society in accordance with the respective influence of each stratum's economic activities on Russian society and economy. Accordingly, the two ministers formulated opposing differential Jewish policies to fit their respective all-Russian socio-economic policies.

NORAH CARLIN, Liberty and Fraternities in the English Revolution: The Politics of London Artisans' Protests, 1635-1659
A series of artisan revolts in the London corporations between 1635 and 1659 found both radical ideas of individual liberty and the guild ethos of fraternity relevant to their aims. The apparent paradox of democratic demands combined with calls for stricter economic regulation can be explained only by examining the participants' concrete grievances and specific demands. The protesters were neither rising industrial capitalists nor a new wage-earning class, but small masters attempting to restrain competition, the use of cheap labour, and the enlargement of enterprises. Their concerns had something in common with those of the Levellers, but the movements diverged in significant ways.